The North Cork divisional side made the most of the wind at their backs in the first half, building a 1-10 to 0-3 lead by half-time, and they ensured that there was no chance of a second-period comeback for their West Cork opponents.
Colm O’Neill and Ruairí O’Hagan each scored 1-3 for Avondhu but it was a superb team performance, 10 players scoring in all.
Manager Martin Crummey, while pleasantly surprised at the size of the huge winning margin, put the display down to the club-team ethic instilled since the start of the year.
“The lads are an honest bunch,” he said, “we rang 40 lads in January and put a plan in place and in fairness they committed to it.
“It was an excellent performance and we can ask no more of them. We wanted to make it more like a club team than a divisional team and that they all work for each other. Our statement at the start of the year was that Avondhu has been in the doldrums and we wanted to awaken that sleeping giant.
“I went to watch Ilen a few times and they’re a good, hard-working team but they had an off-day today.”
The first six minutes had seen Avondhu hit three unanswered points, two from Shane Beston and one by O’Neill, but this wasn’t necessarily a clear sign of what was to come. Ilen — fifth in the Rochestown Park Hotel FL Division 1 — had a goal attempt from Jack Bushe while a Kevin O’Sullivan fisted point effort dropped under the crossbar and into the net.
Dan Mac Eoin opened their account with a free but, before O’Sullivan would get their second, Avondhu added another 1-5. Midfielder David Pyne was a source of endless energy and scored two points while Colm O’Connell got on the scoresheet too before O’Neill’s pass allowed corner-back Pádraig Clancy to send a low shot to the corner of the net.
After O’Sullivan’s point, industrious Ilen sub Conor Harrington also pointed but the 10-point half-time lead was always going to difficult to surmount, and they also suffered from the wind strength dropping at the break. Pyne’s third point opened the second-half scoring and then he was fouled as a shot at goal went wide, with O’Neill netting the resultant penalty.
By the three-quarter mark, it was 2-13 to 0-4, with Avondhu racking up some affordable wides, but the divisional side got a third goal as Pyne won a 30-70 ball, allowing O’Neill to pick out sub Séamus Madigan to goal with his first touch.
Injury was added to insult for Ilen then as goalkeeper Daniel Hickey was forced to depart and the man to take his place, Seán Minihane — introduced as a sub in the first half — had little time to prepare before O’Hagan beat him for the fourth goal.
Points from Cork star Tomás Clancy and O’Hagan, with a free, made it 4-15 to 0-4 before Ilen sub Alan Holland got just their second point from play and Mac Eoin added another free. Avondhu sub Fouhy got in on the act with what proved to be the final point. Madigan might have had another goal at the end, but it hardly mattered. Valley Rovers now await for them, with Ilen facing the losers of Dohenys v Douglas.
“We don’t have much of a break,” Crummey said.
“The lads are back to the clubs this week, a lot are playing championship Friday and Saturday and the Mitchelstown boys are out on Sunday too. It’s going to be a heavy week, we’re going to have to manage the situation. They’re a good bunch, they’ll look after themselves and we’ll see where we are.”
R. O’Hagan (2 frees), C. O’Neill (1-0 penalty, 1 free) 1-3 each; D. Pyne, S. Beston 0-3 each; S. Madigan, P. Clancy 1-0 each, T. Clancy, J. Loughrey, C. O’Connell, W. Fouhy 0-1 each.
K. O’Sullivan, D. Mac Eoin 0-2 (2 frees) each; C. Harrington, A. Holland 0-1 each.
C. Cotter (Glanworth); J. Daly (Fermoy), A. Cashman (Mallow), P. Clancy (Fermoy); T. Clancy (Fermoy), J. Loughrey (Mallow), M Taylor (Mallow); E. Stanton (Mallow), D. Pyne (Glanworth); K. O’Hanlon (Kilshannig), S. Beston (Mitchelstown), M. Sheehan (Glanworth); C. O’Neill (Ballyclough), R. O’Hagan (Fermoy), C. O’Connell (Killavullen).
S. Madigan (Buttevant) for O’Hanlon (43), F. Herlihy (Mitchelstown) for P. Clancy, W. Fouhy (Kildorrery) for O’Neill (both 51), M. Heffernan (Ballyclough) for O’Hagan (55), S. Flynn (Buttevant) for T. Clancy (59, black card).
D. Hickey; C. Cotter, D. O’Donovan, A. Hassett; Cian O’Driscoll, P. Minihane, C. O’Driscoll; P. O’Driscoll, D. Coughlan; S. O’Donovan, D. Collins, A. Coughlan; J. Bushe, D. Mac Eoin, K. O’Sullivan.
C. Harrington for Collins (8, injured), S. Minihane for Cian O’Driscoll (29, injured), T. O’Regan for Bushe, (48 black card), A. Holland for Hickey (49, injured).
P O’Leary (Kilmurry)